Bullied at the Dog Park by Heather Lehrman
With kids heading back to school, the threat of bullying is on the minds of many parents.
Heather Lehrman, a known expert in pet care as owner of In Home Pet Services of Nassau's Gold Coast, has released the book, Bullied at the Dog Park, an allegory for children on how to be kind and, more importantly, how to avoid being bullied.
The book is based on a real-life incident Heather's own Boston Terrier, Herbie, had when he encountered a much larger dog at the dog park one day. The book follows Herbie's journey of learning why he was bullied, what bullying means and what he can do about it. It's about Herbie and the new friends he makes during his investigation to find out why they have all been bullied. The group of friends quickly learn valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness. As other dogs chime in with their stories, Herbie's advice is to always tell someone if you're being bullied, to step in when others are victims and to confront one's bully with questions about their anger. It also helps, Heather says, when schools have anti-bullying policies.
"Seeing my pet being bullied got me to thinking about what
Heather Lehrman with her beloved Boston Terrier, Herbie.
children must feel like when they're victimized," said Heather, a resident of Glen Cove. "I needed to get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying, to teach children the valuable lessons about treating everyone - man or dog - with respect. It also revolves around the simple concept of kindness. As a parent, I know that the messages translate to children."
Since its publication, Heather has been speaking to children at grammar schools and other locations around Long Island, including Manorhaven, Lindenhurst, Northport and the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club.
"Upon reading Bullied at the Dog Park at any school, I ask the kids to tell me who has been bullied and what happened? Many raise their hands, and so many offer the same thoughts: 'Be nice to everyone' and 'never leave anyone out,'" Lehrman said. "Those two phrases put a big smile on my face each time because that's precisely the message I try to express."
Heather is currently working to have the book made into a cartoon and vows to continue taking the messages of Herbie's story to children through more school visits. Her book has been covered in the Roslyn News, the Glen Cove Record Pilot, and she's been interviewed on many occasions.
About Heather Lehrman
Heather has owned the Gold Coast location of In Home Pet Services since 2009. Based on Long Island, New York the company provides dog-walking, boarding, pet First Aid/CPR instruction and other services, all with the best animal care in mind. In Home Pet Services is a member of the National Association of Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters Associates and was named the #1 pet franchise in the U.S. by Franchise Business Review magazine. Lehrman worked a start-up biotech company as an office manager for three years before the company moved to Colorado. She took the opportunity to start her own business. Now, she manages a staff of seven and provides support for the parent company's new franchise owners. Her business won Best of Long Island in 2012.
Heather is a lifetime Nassau County resident and true animal lover. Her unconditional love for animals has led to her adoption of several pets and to raise funds for a number of animal charities. She is a longtime participant and sponsor of Long Island Pet Expo and is trained in Pet First Aid and CPR. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Roslyn Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, Heather is founder and organizer of the Long Island Smushed Face Group which meets once a month for play dates with Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus and Pekingese breeds. Heather and her husband live in Glen Cove, New York.